The Theme Of Blindness In Oedipus The King By Sophocles

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Well-known play writer, Sophocles, in his play Oedipus the King tells a dramatic story of a tragic hero that caused his own downfall. Sophocles’ purpose is to show his audience that excessive pride could be destructive. Sophocles creates a tragic story of a brave king that turned into a blind beggar to convince his audience that pride can hide one from seeing the truth. In Oedipus the King, blindness is an evident motif that was used throughout the play to show the reader that the worst blindness of all is not seeing the truth. The first instance of “blindness” begins when Oedipus believes that Polybus and Merope are his biological parents. However, this was not the truth because his actual parents tried to kill him as newborn but the shepherd …show more content…
“I’ll tell you the truth, you gave me life my breath leapt up in you and now you bring down night upon my eyes” (lines 1348-1350). The play writer obviously does not say “bring night upon heart” but rather says “bring night upon my eyes” to show the emotional aspect of the ugly truth; the truth needs to be faced even if it is hard or ugly. Notably, Sophocles also uses the word light to replace the word “truth”. “O god—all come true, all burst to light! O Light—now let me look my last on you! I stand revealed at last—cursed in my birth, cursed in marriage, cursed in the life I cut down with these hands!” (lines …show more content…
When Oedipus finally sees the truth, Sophocles brings the tragic irony of Oedipus stabbing his own eyes because he literally does not want to see the truth. “Too long you looked on the ones you never should have seen; blind to the ones you longed to see, to know! Blind from this hour on! Blind in the darkness—blind!...And at each stroke blood spurts from the roots, splashing his beard, a swirl of it, nerves and clots—black hail of blood pulsing, gushing down.” (lines 1408-1414). Sophocles ends the dramatic story of Oedipus by having him banished from the town and literally becoming the thing he 's always metaphorically been: blind.“ What I did was best—don’t lecture me, no more advice. I, with my eyes, how could I look my father in the eyes when I go down to death? Or mother, so abused… I have done such things to the two of them, crimes too huge for hanging”.

By the drama’s conclusion the motif of blindness is very evident in the play Oedipus the King If Oedipus would have listened to Tiresias and accepted the hints that were thrown at him; he would not have to end his life so tragically. It is not fate nor the oracle that causes Oedipus to be blind but only himself. Sophocles weaves a great story of light/seeing the truth, teaching that even Oedipus himself, “the all-knowing king,” may see what is presented

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